India Holi Festival

Price

Want your own room?

$1,250 USD per person

$218 USD per person

 

International flights are not included, but our team would be happy to connect you with our flight partner for assistance.

Days 10
Departing February 22, 2018
Exclusive perks
  • Upgraded accommodations
  • Holi festival celebration
  • Hot air balloon ride over Jaipur included

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Discover India, from the iconic Taj Mahal to the Holi Festival.  

Spend ten days discovering the sights, sounds and colors of India. Experience the opulence of Rajasthan's palaces, the bustle of markets and bazaars, the spiritual beauty of the Ganges, the joy of Holi Festival, and the traditions of a heritage stay. Travel through a land full of contrasts on this compact India tour, jam-packed with unforgettable highlights.

 

Start Delhi, India Physical rating 3 out of 5
Finish Delhi, India Ages Min 16 years
Destination India Group size 12 people
Departing February 22, 2018 Style Original

 

Why we love this trip

  • Float among the clouds over Jaipur and watch an Indian sunrise from the basket of a hot air balloon

  • The Taj Mahal is not only a masterpiece of Indian architecture, but also a truly meaningful stop on any traveler’s journey

  • Experience authentic Rajasthani luxury with a heritage stay 

  • Old and New Delhi fuse to create a city that pays homage to past empires, while wrestling with its modern identity

  • Varanasi is among the holiest cities in India. Dodge cows in the street, and observe pilgrims praying and bathing along the ghats of the sacred Ganges River during a boat cruise

  • Immerse yourself in India's most iconic festival, Holi - the ancient Hindu Festival of Color

Is this trip right for you?

  • Old Delhi can be very busy and crowded. While it’s an exciting place to see local life moving around you, be aware that on the walking tour you’ll need to navigate through people, tight spaces and walkways.

  • We visit a number of temples on this trip, which requires a certain level of modesty. Please bring clothes that cover the arms and pants/skirts that go past the knees.

  • From April 2017, the main dome of the Taj Mahal will undergo mud pack therapy to restore its original color. It is expected the dome will be covered in iron scaffolding during the process, which is expected to last a year.

Itinerary

Namaste! Welcome to India. Your adventure begins with a group meeting at 6 pm. Please look for a note in the hotel lobby or ask reception where it will take place. We'll be collecting insurance details and next of kin information at this meeting, so ensure you bring these details to provide to your leader. If you're going to be late, please inform the hotel reception. There’s an optional group dinner after the meeting, which is a great way to get to know your fellow travelers.

Notes: If you can't arrange a flight that will arrive in time, you may wish to arrive a day early so you're able to attend. We'll be happy to book additional accommodation for you (subject to availability).

Optional Activities

  • Delhi - Gandhi's Delhi Urban Adventure - INR2500
  • Delhi - Home-Cooked Experience Urban Adventure - INR4000

Accommodation

  • Hotel 

In the morning, set off on the city’s modern metro system to explore the sights and sounds of Old Delhi on a guided walking tour. Inch your way through the streets around Chandni Chowk marketplace in a traditional cycle rickshaw. Perhaps visit the Jama Masjid, Delhi's oldest and India’s largest mosque, and then stop by the Sheeshganj Gurudwara (Sikh Temple). In the evening, board an overnight sleeper train bound for Varanasi (approximately 13 hours).

Included Activities

  • Delhi - Old Delhi Walking Tour
  • Delhi - Jama Masjid
  • Delhi - Sheeshganj Gurudwara (Sikh Temple)

Accommodation

  • Overnight Sleeper Train 

Upon arrival into Varanasi this morning, you can check into your hotel and freshen up before heading out on a guided walking tour of the Old City. Set along the banks of the holy Ganges River and considered to be India’s spiritual home, millions of pilgrims descend on Varanasi every year. It’s a unique experience to navigate through Varanasi's crowded alleyways.

Included Activities

  • Varanasi - Old City Walking Tour

Accommodation

  • Hotel  

Early in the morning, take a boat ride down the Ganges to watch the sunrise. Perhaps buy a candle from one of the vendors and light it for someone back home. Witness the rituals of life and death taking place along the riverbank, as people bathe and pray in the water. Be prepared for potentially confronting sights and smells, as this is where families come to cremate deceased loved ones. The rest of the day is free to explore.

Included Activities

  • Varanasi - Sunrise Boat cruise

Accommodation

  • Hotel  

Today continue to discover Varanasi. Explore the ghats along the river and investigate the many silk markets dotted around the city. Varanasi is home to India’s silk-making industry. If you have time, head to the outskirts of the city and visit Sarnath, which is one of the most sacred places in the Buddhist religion. In the evening, board a 13-hour sleeper train to Agra.

Included Activities

  • Varanasi - Sarnath day trip

Accommodation

  • Overnight Sleeper Train 

On arrival in Agra, head out on a guided tour of the Taj Mahal. This elaborate mausoleum was built in the 1640s as a memorial to the wife of Emperor Shah Jahan. During an auto-rickshaw sightseeing tour of the city, enjoy an optional visit to Agra Fort. This 16th-century fortress was built to enclose the imperial city of the Mughal rulers. In the evening jump on a chaat crawl in the city thought to serve up the country’s best. Chaat are savory snacks (like fried potatoes or samosa broken into pieces with chutney) typically served roadside from stalls or carts in India.

Included Activities

  • Agra - Taj Mahal
  • Agra – Chaat Crawl

Accommodation

  • Hotel 

Today drive through the idyllic countryside to Tordi Garh, a village that few travelers venture to. The journey will take around eight hours in total - five hours by public bus and another three by jeep. Once there, meet the locals, visit the old village temple and wander through the markets. Tonight, the group will stay in heritage accommodation, which was once a palace for the town’s nobility.

Accommodation

  • Heritage Property 

In the morning, travel by jeep for around three hours to Rajasthan’s colorful capital of Jaipur. Once settled, take a guided walking tour through the old bazaars of the ‘Pink City’ where you will buy some colors for Holi celebration. Use the rest of the day to explore the city on your own, perhaps visiting Jaipur’s ornate Royal City Palace.

Included Activities

  • Jaipur - Walking Tour

Optional Activities

  • Jaipur - Jantar Mantar Observatory - INR200
  • Jaipur - City Palace - INR400

Accommodation

  • Hotel

For many travelers, an optional hot air balloon experience is one of the highlights of Jaipur. Late morning, get ready for Holi celebration with a local family in Jaipur where you will join them for Holi rituals followed by Lunch.

In the afternoon today, visit the hilltop Amber Fort, an excellent example of Rajput architecture, and see the red stone palace of the Hawa Mahal (The Palace of the Winds).

Included Activities

  • Jaipur - Amber Fort
  • Jaipur - Balloon Safari
  • Jaipur – Holi Celebration with a local family

Accommodation

  • Hotel

Early this morning, catch the train back to Delhi. Use the rest of your final day to wander around the city, getting to know the parts you haven’t seen yet. Perhaps pay a visit to Humayun's Tomb, the 12th-century Qutub Minar or the historic Red Fort.

In the evening, get ready for your final dinner with the group in Delhi and experience an authentic meal in a local home.

Included Activities

  • Final Dinner with Local family.

Optional Activities

  • Delhi - Humayun's Tomb - INR500
  • Delhi - Qutub Minar - INR500

Accommodation

  • Hotel 

After breakfast, the trip comes to an end. There are no activities planned for today and you’re free to leave at any time. 

Inclusions

Meals

7 Breakfasts, 1 Lunch, 3 Dinners

Transport

Air conditioned private vehicle transfers throughout

Accommodation

Hotel (8 nights), Overnight Sleeper Train (2 nights)

Inclusions

  • Delhi - Old Delhi Walking Tour
  • Varanasi - Sunrise Boat cruise
  • Agra - Taj Mahal
  • Jaipur - Amber Fort
  • Jaipur – Holi Celebration with a local family

Important notes

FESTIVALS IN INDIA:
Please note that traveling during major festivals such as Holi can cause disruption to the the published itinerary. Please see the 'Safety' section in the 'View all essential trip information' section below for more details.

TAJ MAHAL DOME RESTORATIONS:
The main dome on the Taj Mahal will undergo mud pack therapy due to begin in April 2017. It is likely the entire dome will be obscured by iron scaffolding. Portions of the white marble façade will be covered in mud and plastic sheets during the cleaning process. The restorations will be carried out in sections and the work on the dome is expected to last one year.

IMPORTANT INFORMATION:
Indian authorities have announced that all 500 and 1,000 rupee banknotes will be withdrawn from circulation. 
Until new notes are issued, you should not accept any denomination higher than 100 rupees (around $1.50 USD)
Please ensure you receive change from any purchases in 100 rupee notes or smaller.

SINGLE SUPPLEMENT:
A single supplement to have your own room is available on this trip, please ask your booking agent for more information. Please note that the supplement is not available on the overnight sleeper train.

View all essential trip notes

Bookings

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